Test Patterns: Poetry and Science

Test Patterns: Poetry and Science

Peer into the world of science and scientists to gather inspiration for new poems

Did you find science baffling at school? Or wish you had listened a bit harder? On this online course we’ll peer into the world of science and scientists to gather inspiration for new poems, treating our notebooks like a research laboratory: observing, stirring, colliding, growing, theorising, collaborating, weighing, illuminating, imagining. Over a series of structured assignments we will apply the principles of the scientific method to measure and mould words in new ways, learning how to construct ‘experiments’ to test ourselves with, allowing ourselves to be shaped by experimental structures and scientific vocabularies, and creating new work in a shared site that finds common ground in the methods of both the artist and scientist, including the observation of empirical phenomena, a commitment to acquiring new knowledge and the use of metaphor to explain ideas. We will also leap into the practical day-to-day reality of science research and consider questions such as: What might the workplace of a scientist (lab, field, office, particle collider) look like? How do you do science on a daily basis, designing experiments, gathering or inventing tools, analysing your results? What happens in a fume cupboard, or when something is frozen to absolute zero? What is that liquid in the jar over there? What makes a rock, an electron, a planet? How do stars change? Who invents all those new names? No prior scientific knowledge necessary. You will not be tested.

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks. Live chats on Wednesdays, 7-9pm GMT, first live chat starting 7 February.

More information about how all our online courses work can be found on the Online Courses page.

(Image: ‘University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability’)

About Tania Hershman View Profile

Tania Hershman was born in London in 1970 and moved to Jerusalem in 1994. After making a living for 13 years as a science journalist, writing for publications such as WIRED and New Scientist, she gave it up to write fiction and poetry. Her first collection, The White Road and Other Stories (Salt, 2008), was commended by the judges of the 2009 Orange Award for New Writers, and contains flash fiction and short stories inspired by science. Her second story collection, My Mother Was An Upright Piano: Fictions,  was  published in May 2012 by Tangent Books and contains fifty six very short fictions. Her poetry pamphler, Nothing Here Is Wild, Everything Is Open, was published by Southword Editions in Feb 2016 and her debut collection – Terms & Conditions – was published by Nine Arches Press in 2017. Tania is curator of short story hub ShortStops (www.shortstops.info), celebrating short story activity across the UK & Ireland, and is currently completing a PhD in creative writing inspired by particle physics. Hear her read her work on https://soundcloud.com/taniahershman and find out more here: www.taniahershman.com

I wouldn’t have been able to develop a full portfolio of work for my first collection without the online courses and tutor/peer group feedback.

Spring 2017 Online Course Survey response

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